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  1. #1
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    why not para cord?

    I will start by saying hello cuz this is my first post on here but i have been reading the forum for quite a while now . I am an outdoorsman so to speak but have never messed with hammocks until now.


    Just wondering what are the negatives of using para cord as suspension lines? I am brand new to hammocking but i have used a paracord prusik to make my hammock adjustable 2 times now and it seems to hold me fine. So i am wondering if maybe it doesnt hold up well or something like that?

  2. #2
    it's not nearly strong enough and since it's nylon it will stretch alot more than polyester which is similar strength per weight but with alot less stretch

    you'd want something with a tensile strength of over 1000 LBS, probably something closer to 1500 especially if you plan on tying knots in it

    your best choices will be braided dyneema for cord (something like 7/64" amsteel blue) and polyester for webbing (1500-2000 LBS tensile for webbing)

  3. #3
    Senior Member Hototo's Avatar
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    I've been victim to the stretch of the paracord, especially when the stuff gets wet. I'm converting all my gear from paracord to amsteel. I never had any issues with the paracord failing, just needed more adjustments.

    Welcome aboard, prepare for a new addiction.
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  4. #4
    Poppabear's Avatar
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    Listen to Warbonnetguy he knows what he's talking about.
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  5. #5
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  6. #6
    fallkniven's Avatar
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    Plus, it really soaks up a lot of water when it rains.

  7. #7
    Member outdoorsaddiction's Avatar
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    I'm glad to see this asked because I was wondering the same thing. Thanks for the answers. Now time to make the wife mad and order some amsteel, lol.

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    A higher strength rating is also safer because there are also dynamic forces at work, not just static forces. Getting in and out and moving around in the hammock can exert more than your weight on the suspension.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  10. #10
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by CheeZe View Post
    ... i have used a paracord prusik to make my hammock adjustable 2 times now and it seems to hold me fine. ...
    Count yourself lucky.

    There are numerous factors that degrade the supposed strength of lines AND increase the actual effective weight force. Together, these cause deaths and injuries in riggings. Professional riggers use rules of thumb for safety factors, such as 5-to-1 for this and 10-to-1 for that. Line strength-to-load weight.

    Knots, bends, gear, splices, sharp angles, even wear-and-tear, and the like take strength out of a line. It can be reduced in strength up to 80%. Your 1,000 line is suddenly good for 200 lbs and you didn't realize it.

    Amsteel seems to be one company that rates its line strength taking into account splices. I say good for them!

    Hanging at anything other than straight down, with the line being vertical, increases the effective weight on the line due to the laws of physics and geometry. If you hang with your suspension lines at 30% down from horizontal (recommended) your weight is DOUBLED, but with half on each line. Thus if you are 200 lbs, you are putting 200 lbs of force on EACH of the two suspension lines. Actually, if you weigh 200 lbs, the total will be more due to your sleeping pad, bag, and whatever else you put in the hammock.

    However, that's only if you don't so much as breath. Otherwise, you start to create dynamic weight, not just static weight. Think what a bathroom scale does when you step on it. You have to stand still for it to settle DOWN to your true weight. If you toss and turn in your hammock, you create shock (dynamic) weight for an instant or two. Suddenly, your 200 lbs of "actual" weight becomes 300 lbs, let's say.

    Now, in this example, your 1,000 line is down to 200 lbs of strength and your 200 lb body is putting 300 lbs of effective force on the line.

    Are you willing to risk your backbone over those roots and rocks you had to hang over?

    It's your choice. Knowledge is power.

    Rain Man

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    "You can stand tall without standing on someone. You can be a victor without having victims." --Harriet Woods
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